A conceptual design study incorporating tidal flow and historical dredging data recommends a bulkhead wall reducing the marina entry to approximately eighty (80) feet. This structure will return marina configuration to the narrower entry in place before the most recent marina development, thereby providing increased protection from tidal river water heavily laden with silt that has been taking the path of least resistance into our marina.
The chairman of the Marina Committee, Bill Duncan, said that the October 2015 thousand-year flood experienced throughout Georgetown County, followed by Hurricane Matthew one year later in 2016, together rapidly increased silt build-up in Winyah Bay, already accelerated by the cessation of maintenance dredging of Winyah Bay/Intracoastal Waterway by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) several years ago.
Duncan said, "The Belle Isle Marina Dredge Project completed in 2013 anticipated a maintenance dredge would not be needed for about five years conservatively, but we started seeing low-tide reduced accessibility as early as 2015 and a maintenance dredge was found to be needed much sooner than expected. Unfortunately, many of our residents are still paying for the assessment for that earlier project. The Marina Committee, and I believe I can speak for the Board of Stewards, feel strongly that we should undertake any future dredge project with a long-term plan for maintenance dredging in place in addition to professional engineering design to extend the life of this or any dredge project."
Charles Young, former Purser and current member of the Board of Stewards, said, "For a few years now, the Board has shown excellent stewardship by placing significant funds in reserve, specifically for dredging. This foresight will substantially reduce any assessment required in the short-term and may possibly avoid it altogether, funding the balance of the project through the revenue stream of BIYC fees at the current or slightly elevated level."
Cappelmann, who has overseen several marina construction and dredge projects in North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay, reports that the first step in any dredge project is to apply for a dredge permit from USACE. He said, "Once we apply for the permit, USACE and OCRM will comment on our current plans and engineering studies and offer suggestions from their office. At that time, we will know what the next step will be to restore our marina to full operation. Of course, this will take some months even with the best-case scenario of first request approval, funding approval, dredge Request for Proposal (RFP) preparation and release, proposal and/or bid evaluation and award, and project duration of several months."
Back to BELLE ISLE BLOG main page